Earlier this week, it was announced that the Orange Bowl has a new title sponsor (Discover). rbb Public Relations represents the Orange Bowl, and asked if I would be interested in sending a few questions regarding the new deal. My questions, and answers provided by the Vice President of Communications and Community Outreach for the Orange Bowl Committee, ESPN’s Director of Communications, and Discover’s Senior Manager for Community Affairs and Media Relations, are below.
1) The Discover/Orange Bowl deal is for a reported 4 years and 5 games. What influenced the parties to choose this particular length of time?
“The deal runs concurrent with ESPN’s BCS agreement which includes the 2011-2014 BCS bowl games and the 2013 BCS National Championship.” – Larry Wahl, Orange Bowl Committee, VP Communications and Community Outreach
2) How much weight did Allstate’s four year renewal with the Sugar Bowl play in your negotiations with Discover?
“The discussions did not have any influence on each other, as our negotiations with Discover were completely independent.” – Amy Phillips, ESPN, Director, Communications
3) In conversations with executives at Discover, did the fact that both the Orange Bowl and Discover Card logos have orange in their images ever come up?
“The fact that both the Orange Bowl and Discover Card logos have orange was discussed. While coincidental, this has an added benefit because there is already the consumer connection with the color orange, which is a critical piece of the Discover heritage, and iconic in the recognition of the Orange Bowl and South Florida.” – Larry Wahl, Orange Bowl Committee, VP Communications and Community Outreach
4) It’s quite a jump to go from sponsoring NHL playoffs intermissions, the WNBA, and Arena Football to a title sponsorship of a BCS Bowl Game. What were some of the key factors that helped convince Discover that this was a smart move?
“Discover cardmembers are passionate about college football. Discover views this as a great way to reach both cardmembers, by rewarding them with exclusive benefits all year long, and sports fans in general, by showing them how it pays to Discover. This partnership resonates with Discover cardmembers passion and loyalty toward their favorite football teams.” – Matthew Towson, Discover, Senior Manager, Community Affairs and Media Relations
5) Are any activation plans built into the sponsorship? What are some interesting features of the sponsorship that have not yet been reported?
“Discover will be offering cardmembers exclusive benefits, including ticket offers and unique experiences surrounding the Orange Bowl festivities.” – Matthew Towson, Discover, Senior Manager, Community Affairs and Media Relations
“Additional details about activation within the South Florida community are still being collaborated on with Discover.” – Larry Wahl, Orange Bowl Committee, VP Communications and Community Outreach
6) There were rumors that Reese’s, another company with orange in its logo, showed interest in the title sponsorship. Why do you think Discover is a better fit?
“We spoke to many advertisers, but we engaged with Discover because we felt they showed the most commitment and ultimately would make the best partner for the Orange Bowl and ESPN.” – Amy Phillips, ESPN, Director, Communications
7) Who was involved in brokering the deal and negotiating the terms of the sponsorship? Were there particular attorneys/firms on retainer?
“MediaCom ESP, a GroupM company led the negotiation for Discover.” – Matthew Towson, Discover, Senior Manager, Community Affairs and Media Relations